May 8 2013

elb2Without hitting the front page headlines, today was a fascinating day for financial markets infrastructure and investors therein, so strap in, there’s a lot to cover in this ‘brief’ blurb:

LSE fire the gun in what could be a platform buying race, the bond, structured product and especially energy and commodity universes have rather a few little gems which could be coveted if exchanges seek to roll them up…watch this space!

Bart Chilton making a regulatory play for Bitcoin is fascinating from several perspectives in US regulatory history and presumably would be within a CFTC remit more so than SEC (equities)…watch this space, it may be good, it may be bad. Chilton is a Democrat but a pragmatic one at that in my experience…

Exchange traded debt instruments gain ground, with Ozzie govvies and India’s regulator SEBI giving blessing to NSE for a separate debt marketplace…all good news!

Meanwhile, there is a lot more to read below and it’s all worthwhile but I can’t resist closing on a pedantic point, GBOT in Mauritius can’t be the second CFD trading exchange in the world as before I even begin to think about the issue I recall that ASX led and LSE followed…

Enjoy today’s fascinating stories…

Public Markets

LSE agrees to buy trading platform Eurotlx for 40 mln euros – sources

Reuters

London Stock Exchange Group has inked a deal to buy Italian trading platform Eurotlx from Banca IMI and UniCredit for about 40 million euros ($52 million), sources close to the matter said.
“The agreement has been signed but not finalised,” one of the sources told Reuters, noting that the deal needed to be approved by the Bank of Italy.

Hong Kong Exchange Q1 net profit inches up, hires CFO

Reuters

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd, Asia’s largest stock exchange by market value, reported a slight gain in first-quarter net profit, beating analysts’ expectations with results that were boosted by an uptick in trading volume.
The exchange, world’s second largest by value, also announced the appointment of Paul Kennedy as Chief Financial Officer, a position vacant since earlier this year. Kennedy has previously worked at KPMG, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and HSBC .

India – National Stock Exchange gets Sebi nod for debt trading segment

NDTV

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) said on Tuesday that it has received an approval from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to set up a separate debt trading platform.

The platform would bring much more transparency and credibility to the way debt securities are traded and is expected to attract more investors to this segment.

Private Markets

Betfair lifts profit forecast in bid to stave off CVC

Reuters

Online gambling company Betfair raised its profit forecast and cost savings target on Tuesday, making its case for independence as it tries to stave off a $1.4 billion takeover by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
Betfair last month rejected a potential offer of 880p per share from CVC, saying the price was too low and had too many strings attached. Its shares rose more than two percent to 863.5p after its trading statement, still below the offer price.

CFTC’s Chilton: Want to ensure Bitcoin is not ‘a house of cards’

MarketWatch (blog)

As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission weighs regulating Bitcoin, Commissioner Bart Chilton sought to spell out its interest in the virtual currency.
His argument, made in an interview on CNBC, essentially came down to ensuring that the currency — created independently of any bank or central bank through a complicated computational process called mining — is not “just a house of cards.” But no regulator is paying attention to it.

Technology

Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange joins BT’s Radianz Cloud

Business Standard

British telecom giant BT today said the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) has joined its Radianz Cloud community.

HKMEx will now offer access to trade its range of commodity futures products and market data feeds to BT’s financial cloud community, BT said in a statement.

Products

First RIN futures trade completed on ICE

Reuters

The IntercontinentalExchange on Tuesday saw the first trade for renewable identification number (RIN) futures since the contracts’ listing last Monday, according to a spokeswoman.

Element Markets, a Houston-based producer and marketer of renewable energy, sold the first contract at 88 cents per RIN for one lot of 10,000 advanced biofuel RINs, the firm’s chief executive confirmed in an email.

Exchange-Traded Australian Government Bonds To Commence Trading On ASX

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announces that Exchange-traded Australian Government Bonds (AGBs) will be available for trading on ASX on 21 May 2013, giving retail investors access to buy and sell these products as easily as shares.

First exchange in Africa to launch Contract for Difference

CPI Financial

Global Board of Trade, the first international multi‐asset bourse from Mauritius, has successfully launched Contracts for Difference (CFDs) making it the first exchange in Africa and second in the world to introduce CFDs.

Other stories

High Hopes for New Stock Exchange in Iraqi Kurdistan

Wall Street Journal (blog)

It may be tiny, but its promoters have high hopes for the Middle East’s newest stock exchange.
Work began last month on establishing a new exchange in Erbil, the capital of the prosperous and semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan.
While the proposed Erbil Stock Exchange, or ESX, is unlikely to offer much in the way of competition to the better-established exchange in Baghdad, the plans point yet again to Kurdistan’s emergence as a smaller, more business-savvy alternative to the more state-centric economic model followed in Baghdad.

Crowdfunding

CircleUp One Sign VCs Are Embracing Crowdfunding

Wall Street Journal

Tech entrepreneurs can find plenty of resources for raising funds from investors online. Notable “equity crowdfunding” sites like MicroVenture Marketplace, SeedInvest and SecondMarket focus on the makers of apps and hardware. But what about businesses that make everything you’d find at a grocery or convenience store?

Donald Trump gets into crowdfunding

Fortune

Donald Trump is putting his stamp of approval, but not his name, on a new crowdfunding platform that is scheduled to launch tomorrow. He’s also an investor in the site, and each week will personally contribute to one or more projects that strike his fancy.
It’s called FundAnything, and was the brainchild of The Learning Annex founder Bill Zanker.

Attack of the Kickstarter Clones: Crowdfunding Reaches Its Tipping Point

Wired

Kickstarter is doing well. Project creators have launched 38,000 successful undertakings for $441 million in pledges since its launch four years ago. And it’s only expected to grow. So it’s no wonder that crowdfunding clones, imitators, and innovators are popping up like weeds. From the uber-broad to the niche, entrepreneurs have, are, and will continue to build platforms that fill holes in Kickstarter’s coverage, methods, or both.

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